Last night the wind blew up out of the south. It silenced the metronomic boom and echo of the waves as they broke in the darkness. It rattled the windows, blew be-bop through the corrugated iron roof and battered the simple round wooden hut where Cam MacKellar lives and recorded the Saudadé EP. Perched high on a ridge, surrounded by bush, he can look down the coast to the city lights of Sydney, Australia On nights like these Cam can't record. Fragile attempts to conjure memory through the old microphone are mocked by the savage symphony of the winds. The memories, like so much else, are easily blown away. There's nothing to be done but bunker down and hope the roof stays on while the yurt sways and bucks in the tumult. Below foam crests all around and somewhere out to sea the tankers draped in lights wait patiently for safe harbour. Saudade (pronounced 'saw dadé') is a Portuguese word that roughly translates as an enigmatic yearning of the soul, an inexplicable wistful longing for a time, a place, a life or a love that did, or might have, but does not now exist. Returning to Sydney after years spent busking, working and living overseas, Cam found he was carrying suitcases full of the stuff. Soon the longing and joy, the loves, people, places and memories of the last few years tumbled out of him and began their journey into song. The Saudade EP captures six of these tracks played and recorded by Cam on nights when the southerly wind was still and sleep was hard to come by. He records and mixes in the circular main room with the doors and windows open to quiet night and the ocean. Friends helped piece the songs together. Musical comrade, multi-instrumentalist and producer DC, cellist Sally Maer and drummers Rob Hirst (Midnight Oil) and Nerida Wu (The Dark Shadows) all wove texture into the sound. Saudade sounds like symphonic brokenness /// indie-folk. Soaring strings are brought back down to earth by rickety old pump-organs; lightly brushed drums give way to headache pounding cymbals; dustbowl guitars meet the chime and buzz of electricity. Cam's voice sways in the centre, trying to find shelter from the storm.
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